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Kate Atkinson Quotes
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Fairy tales opened up a door into my imagination - they don't conform to the reality that's around you as a child. I started reading when I was three and read everything, but I wanted to be an actress.
Probably not needing to be published would give me more time to think about a book.
Because I've a track record of talking about books I never write, in Australia they think I'm about to write a book about Jane Austen. Something I said at some festival.
Everyone said, 'Well, you're very old for a first novel,' and I said, 'How do you write when you haven't lived? How do you write when you have no experience? How do you write straight out of university?'
Alternate history fascinates me, as it fascinates all novelists, because 'What if?' is the big thing.
Not being published would be great. When I say that to other writers they look at me as if I'm totally insane.
I can't imagine what it would be like to write in a relaxed state. I'm going to be writing some stories for my own interest. I want to experiment with different things and see if I can approach writing with much less control and in a better psychological state. It will be like breaking out of a straitjacket.
I've always loved mysteries, the something there that you didn't know, and with 'Case Histories' I just decide to make that more up-front.
It's been said that the men in my books have been absent, or weak, or creepy.
It was failing part of my Ph.D. that led me into novel-writing. By then I was 29, had remarried and had a second baby. It struck me that I'd lost my path in life and I felt frustrated. That's when I started to write.
I had a novel in the back of my mind when I won an Ian St James story competition in 1993. At the award ceremony an agent asked me if I was writing a novel. I showed her four or five chapters of what would become 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' and to my surprise she auctioned them off.
I was an only child and grew up in York where my parents ran a surgical supplies shop. When I say I wish I had brothers and sisters, friends say it's not what it's cracked up to be, but I think it must be good to have someone who knew you from the beginning.
Life is a very orderly thing, but in fiction there is a huge liberation and freedom. I can do what I like. There's nothing that says I can't write a page of full stops. There is no 'should' involved, although you wouldn't know that from literary reviews and critics.
My father was an autodidact. It wasn't a middle-class house. Shopkeepers are aspirant. He paid for me to go to private school. He was denied an education - he had a horrible childhood. He got a place at a grammar school and wasn't allowed to go.
My work is not my life. I started writing quite late, I didn't have that 'writing is everything, my art is all.' You have to be able to recognise the difference between the two.
The cult of the individual is killing us. I think Twitter signals the death of western civilisation, but people have been saying that since Demosthenes.
Writing for me is quite a plastic form, a kind of mental sculpture, although that sounds weird. It acquires its character and its depth as it goes along.
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